Surprising facts about New York City
Spending 2 weeks in Big Apple meant a lot to me. Not only it was enough time to fall in love with NYC, but I also realized that probably just half of the people speak English in New York and the rest you hear different accents of Spanish all around you, but also a lot of Polish residents, and French, German and Italian tourists. I mean I knew that Spanish is the second language in many states of the US but always thought it was especially in the South, such as Florida or California. But in many stores all the sellers and also workers are Spanish native speakers who came here seeking for a better life.
And there was also me, seeking for a better life after my recent break-up. And a nice accommodation always helps me to get in a good mood. Maybe next time, if you go through a serious break-up or any other relationship problems, you could pay a visit to the city that never sleeps and just enjoy New York vacation rentals and the vibe of the city that has so much to offer.
inhabitants of NYC from all over the world, so the languages
But it was not just the different languages spoken in NYC that surprised me about the Big Apple. There were quite a few things that did. Why? Probably because you expect a lot from the USA, from NYC in general and from what you see in the movies.
I pulled out a list of surprising facts about New York City, at least those that surprised me:
- not all the parts of Manhattan are overcrowded like you would assume from the movies (e.g. Meat Packing District is not really).
- you cannot honk – the fine is $350 if you honk in certain parts of NYC. While in the movies it usually looks like a super busy noisy city and I do not remember any movie in which the traffic of NYC was silent like they are trying to make it in real.
- forget to see many celebrities at the street – among so many people it is or impossible or you will not recognize anyone
- the Manhattan metro is super easy to understand – it says Queens/Brooklyn/Uptown/Downtown so you just need to know the direction where you are going.
- some subway stations are pretty old.
- subway runs 24/7 but not as often as in other big cities around the world. Sometimes you have to wait for 10 – 15 minutes for the one you need (in many big cities the same subway line rungs every 2 – 3 minutes).
- not all the subway cars have maps of the subway lines, nor advising which stop is the next one. And I would definitely expect this in NYC Subway!
subway stops in NYC Subway
- I have never seen a subway station with escalators (moving staircase) in Big Apple so poor us with the suitcases, up the stairs carrying them. But I was told there are some stations with escalators (where??)
- subway is not always packed with people, I don’t know if it is because so many lines or what, but you don’t have to be worried to spend hours every day breathing someone else’s underarm sweat.
- black guys exercise in the subway – using their time in a good way and getting some muscles! Big thumb up from me I don’t mean those who perform and get money for it, no, I saw guys coming back from work and just exercising there, loved it!
- it is super hot at the subway stations, there is almost no air. At least once you hop on the Subway, most of them do have air coinditioning.
- Manhattan is pretty walkable. Each time I was not in a rush, instead of taking the metro I just walked. I got from the Northern part of Central Park to Tribeca, Little India and Chinatown. So enjoy the nice weather and do the same!
- the New Yorkers cross the streets at red very often (red hand and not white walking person), each time there is no car, or even when there are cars. I just saw it recently in Friends with Benefits movie and it is true. I learned to do so as well. Ooops! And someone just honked at me, can I give him the fine as it was in the no-honking area??
- you would think that NYC is a dangerous place, but Manhattan is super safe. I have not seen anything suspicious and as far as I heard, NYC is one of the top 10 safest cities in the USA. I do not think the same about Brooklyn though but it can be because of my bad experience there during the break up.
- you would never think it gets so hot in summer maybe because in all the movies everyone is in their business clothes with long sleeves and long pants. I was dying of heat, true story! 38 ° Celsius (100° F) and doing sightseeing?!
- there are bins next to almost every zebra crossing in Manhattan. Good point!
- accommodation in Manhattan is more expensive than you would expect. There are very few hostels and for the same quality and rooms/dorms in both hostels and hotels you will pay 3 times more in NYC than for example in Europe.
- you can get cheap food/drinks at the street, e.g. a 500 ml bottle of water for $1 which in Paris/Rome costs 4 Euro.
Have you visited NYC? Did you find there something you did not expect? Something surprising? Tell us more about surprising facts about New York City in the comments below.